Seven albums into one of country music’s most-respected and most-unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due out Feb. 25, 2014 that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Bentley.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” Bentley says. “It’s different reasons for different folks – could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments…breakthrough moments.”
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in RISER, and it is reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley. It evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive. He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr., who worked on Bentley’s first two albums; and utilized producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote “Tip It On Back” for Bentley’s previous album Home.
The new atmosphere yielded the most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career. Some were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales. One track’s vocal was recorded on Bentley’s tour bus. Still others were cut at Copperman’s house with the producer literally at Bentley’s side, pushing him to some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.
“It’s not even really a studio,” Bentley says of Copperman’s set-up. “It’s just kind of a corner of the house he’s taken over, so there was a kind of intimacy to the vocal process. It was important to get out of the studio and sing in different places, and to do it with other people in the room. That way, you have an audience and you get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice.”
Since making a life-altering drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old, Bentley has forged his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. He has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. His album Home debuted at No. 1 and spawned three consecutive chart-topping hits, marking 10 career No. 1 songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His five previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations and earned him an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.
Country Music’s star-studded benefit concert COUNTRY RISING announced today that in light of last week’s tragedy, it will now support victims of the Las Vegas shooting in addition to those in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and additional Caribbean islands who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes. Tickets and VIP packages for the event will now go on sale next Friday, Oct. 20 at 10:00A CT on www.Ticketmaster.com. Citi® is the official presale credit card of Country Rising. Citi® cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets beginning Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 10:00A CT through Citi’s Private Pass® program. For complete presale details visit www.citiprivatepass.com.
Keith Urban is the latest mega-star to add his name to the bill, which also includes Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait and Carrie Underwood. Due to a scheduling conflict with additional tour dates being added in Spokane, WA, Garth Brooks will no longer be part of the event in Nashville and will instead donate all proceeds from his two added concerts on November 12th to The Country Rising Fund.
COUNTRY RISING will benefit The Country Rising Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which was established to support charitable initiatives to help victims of the September 2017 hurricanes — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. Additionally, the fund will now also envelop victims of the shooting in Las Vegas last week. In the course of rebuilding lives disrupted by these devastating events, there are immediate needs and there also will be long-term needs. This fund will strategically support both as they emerge.
For more information, visit: www.CountryRising.org.
Dierks Bentley piloted a plane to Las Vegas on Monday to meet and perform for the survivors and first responders, as well as the doctors, nurses and staff at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada following the horrific tragedy at the Rt. 91 Festival a week ago. Last week, Dierks said he was “at a total loss for words” over the mass shooting that took nearly 60 lives and left hundreds injured.
— Deborah Kuhls (@dakuhls) October 10, 2017
Dierks Bentley attended the Hollywood premiere for the new film, Only the Brave, for which he contributed the song, “Hold the Light.” The film, which stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, Jennifer Connelly and Andie MacDowell, is the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite Arizona firefighters who risk their lives to protect Prescott from one of the worst wildfires in history.
— Dierks Bentley (@DierksBentley) October 10, 2017
“This song hits really close to me because we wrote it based on the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots,” said Dierks in a recent press release about the song “Hold the Light.” “One of the most powerful takeaways for me from working on this project has been the need to search for hope and light even in the darkest of times. I think right now that message is more meaningful than ever.”
Only the Brave opens in theaters nationwide October 20th.